- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 2, 2017

More than 70 Prince George’s County Police officers have alleged racial discrimination within the department.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Police Chief Hank Stawinski and John Teletchea, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, announced they are convening a panel to “look at agency practices, promotion processes, and discipline patterns.”

According to NBC4, Chief Stawinski had not yet received the complaint but wanted to begin a review he already had been planning.

“The chief is beginning the second year of his administration and the panel is a collaborative effort that has been months in the making,” said Assistant Chief Hector Velez.

“If the panel discovers any concerns or issues, the chief wants to know, so he can act. The Prince George’s County Police Department is committed to transparency and keeping the public’s trust,” he said.

Chief Velez said the department is going to talk to rank-and-file officers to make sure everyone is being treated fairly.

“The department is strong because of the men and women who make up our ranks. The chief wants to hear from them directly,” he said.

The panel will be co-chaired by the department’s inspector general and a senior representative from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 89. The panel will comprise union representatives and members of institutions outside the police department.

• Ryan M. McDermott can be reached at rmcdermott@washingtontimes.com.

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